On ‘The Insider,’ City Traffic Engineer Ram Balachandran discusses ‘Flashing Yellow’ left turn arrow and other intelligent transportation system (ITS) technology utilized to manage and improve traffic flow. Balachandran is a 22-year veteran of the City Transportation Department. A Louisiana State University graduate, he worked for the Louisiana Department of Transportation prior to coming to Murfreesboro.
The City’s monthly podcast is available beginning Friday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m. Listen to this edition of “Insider” at https://cityofmurfreesborotn.podbean.com/. If you prefer to watch the podcast on YouTube, including video, graphics and maps of the latest projects, visit https://youtu.be/m-D40k79m5A.
Topics discussed with City Traffic Engineer Ram Balachandran include:
- ‘Flashing Yellow’ arrows being tested since June at two intersections on Lytle Street in downtown Murfreesboro. The goal is to familiarize the motoring public on the Flashing Yellow arrow replacing the green ball for permissive left turns.
- During his tenure, the City’s traffic signal inventory has grown from approximately 64 signals to more than 160 signals.
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved and adopted the Flashing Yellow left turn arrows in 2009. Balachandran says a national study demonstrated drivers had fewer crashes with flashing yellow left turn arrows than with traditional signals. Other cities are slowly adopting the new display with flashing yellow arrows.
- The City plans to incorporate the Flashing Yellow arrow displays and Adaptive Traffic Signal Technology in upcoming projects including the Rutherford Blvd. traffic signal improvement project. The City is in final design phase of the project with bidding expected within a year.
- Traffic signals along the major corridors are interconnected with fiber optics communication and signal systems that report back to a central location at City Hall Traffic Management Center. Seventy-five percent of the City traffic signals at the intersections are interconnected. Murfreesboro was the first City in Tennessee in the early 1990s to imitate to pilot a Traffic Management Center. Currently, there are 42 traffic cameras are available live on YouTube.
Some motorists across the nation were confused by the green ball at turn signals, thinking they could proceed without yielding to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The FHWA researched and studied the Flashing Yellow arrow operation and adopted it as a better alternative display.
Balachandran also discusses TDOT’s Smart Corridor system the state is installing along the I-24 corridor to enhance traffic flow. The City traffic signals along the NW Broad corridor are connected to the Smart Corridor system. Intelligence Transportation Systems (ITS) equipment such as video detection cameras, fiber optic communication, network switches and radar traffic sensors are being utilized to analyze, manage, and make traffic signal timing adjustments.
Balachandran provides an updated weekly Road Construction projects report to the public available every Friday evening on Facebook and the City’s website. The information relies on road construction contractors to provide accurate and timely information.
Watch a 60-second YouTube video, produced by CityTV, for details https://youtu.be/ICG70eIZ7Ns.
This latest edition of “The Insider” is available via Podbean, Spotify, Apple Podcast and “Amazon Music/Audible.” Podcasts can be easily accessed on the City of Murfreesboro’s website. Just click the “Podcast” link on the bottom of the homepage under “Connect With Us” https://cityofmurfreesborotn.podbean.com/ then click the latest episode or listen to previous episodes.
“The Insider” is hosted by Mike Browning and produced by Michael Nevills at City Hall.
Murfreesboro CityTV can be found on Comcast Channel 3 and 1094, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV via Cablecast Screen weave, YouTube, and the City website www.murfreesborotn.gov/citytv.
If you have questions regarding ‘Flashing Yellow’ arrow signals or other concerns with traffic, contact the City Transportation Department at 615-893-6441.
For City News online, visit www.Murfreesborotn.gov.